The Volkswagen Beetle Dune is now on sale, priced from £21,300 in coupé guise and £24,255 in convertible form.
At launch the Dune is available with two engines: a 103bhp 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol and a 148bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel. Gearbox choices include a six-speed manual as standard and an optional six or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Originally unveiled as a concept at the 2014 Detroit motor show, the Beetle Dune receives more rugged-looking styling, an increased ride height and larger wheels and tyres than standard versions of the second-generation modern-day Beetle, all in a bid to give it similar appeal to Volkswagen’s dedicated off-road models.
Yet despite the off-roader-inspired design touches, the new model will be sold exclusively with front-wheel drive. This is due to the lack of a four-wheel drive option for the Beetle, which is produced at Volkswagen’s Puebla plant in Mexico.
Among the styling changes is a reworked front bumper featuring a prominent trapezoidal-shaped central air duct, a silver plastic bash plate and an additional air duct below the leading edge of the bonnet, as well as revised indicator units and round foglights set within black plastic elements either side.
Farther back, the Beetle Dune receives black plastic cladding within the wheel houses, a feature which serves to increase the width of the body by 14mm. There are also more prominent sills, decals along the lower sections of the doors and rear wing panel and new 18in wheels shod with 235/45 tyres.
The rear is distinguished from that of the standard Beetle by a spoiler mounted below the rear window, unique LED tail-light graphics and a restyled bumper featuring a silver plastic bash plate within the lower valance panel.
To further enhance the car's appearance, Volkswagen has introduced respective 6mm and 7mm increases to the front and rear tracks through the adoption of new wheel carriers. The ride height has also been bumped up by 10mm, providing the Dune with greater ground clearance than the standard Beetle.
Inside, the main dashboard panel, door shoulders, piping and stitching on the seats and the stitching on the steering and various control surrounds are all finished in the same colour as the exterior.
The Beetle Dune commands a hefty premium over the standard Beetle, which starts at £16,275 in hatchback form, rising to £26,345 in its most comprehensively equipped cabriolet guise.